Erap Estrada had to leave Malacañang before his term was over. Gloria Arroyo narrowly avoided a similar fate. Yes, she finished her term but even after a year since leaving office, she is still grappling with all sorts of legal troubles. Actually, in the last couple of years in office, she was worse than a lame duck.
Were these events the result of organized, orchestrated, or deliberate effort? There are those who may believe so. There are easy scapegoats: the CIA quickly comes to mind. They are, after all, very well-funded. Motives, you ask? Well, they may still be hurting from the fact that we kicked them out of the Clark and Subic Military Bases. Those who love to dabble in conspiracy theories would be able to bring up a dozen more possible suspects.
I think these are far-fetched. As they say: possible but not probable.
But the story goes on. If you keep your ears close to the ground, you may already have heard stories about the sitting president. I don’t take extraordinary efforts to listen to these stories, but I haven’t escaped getting some. The ones I have heard center around a few themes: the president is not too energetic (read: lazy); he is not too intelligent (read: dumb); he is detached from the people (read: member of an indifferent elite). Interestingly, I have not yet come across these stories from taxi drivers, street sweepers or my barber. I keep hearing them from people who imply that they are “in the know.” These are people who claim to be close to the people who are great, near-great or, at least, their respective hangers-on.
I find most of the stories very annoying. It is one thing to find fault in the president’s decisions or actions. It is a different thing altogether when you attack his person. When you do the former, you keep the president on his toes. That can’t be bad. When you do the latter, what are you hoping would happen? Really now, if he is lazy or dumb, what do you want him to do?
I hope the purveyors of these stories are not building up to a scenario where they are able to convince people to again change the president before his term is over. TAMA NA. SOBRA NA.
Let me say it again. Erap was a bad president. Gloria was too. Maybe PNoy is. Let us not waste any effort trying to get rid of him. Let him finish his term. If we had let Erap finish his term, the whole country would have suffered from his actions (or inaction). That would have been a dear price to pay. But it would have convinced everyone, especially those who voted for him (dahil bida sa cine), that it takes morethan movie stardom to get the country out of the troubles we are in. As it is, there are people who still believe that Erap was a good president. He almost made it when he ran again for the presidency.
As long as we have a large number of people who believe that movie stardom, or some other form of popularity equals good presidential timber, we cannot have a healthy democracy.
So, let the sitting president serve the remaining years of his term. He might still turn out to be a good one. If he turns out to be a bad president, then let the majority among us who voted for him realize that they were wrong, Let us all learn from the painful experience. The pain will be our tuition fee. Then we, as a pained but wiser people, can really say: never again. We will vote for someone who can really run the country well.